• There will be blood for dengue victims


    PHILIPPINE Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard Gordon on Friday assured the public that the Red Cross has enough blood supply for victims of dengue and other medical needs in the face of the 16.5-percent rise in the incidence of dengue cases from January to September 5 this year.

    In a presentation to top officials of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) earlier this week, Gordon said the PRC now supplies 52 percent of the country’s blood needs.

    The PRC has 27 blood centers and 82 blood banks nationwide all connected to its central offices in Manila via computer and telecom facilities to give status reports on blood supply twice daily.

    Gordon said if a local PRC chapter or blood facility does not have enough blood supply, the national headquarters could coordinate with the nearest Red Cross center to send the necessary supply.

    “We just sent 45 bags of blood to Marinduque [province], which has no local blood bank,” he told the PMA.

    Also earlier this week, the province of Cavite declared a state of calamity after it recorded close to 4,000 dengue cases with 16 deaths from January to September 12.

    The Bulacan provincial government also declared an “all-out war” on dengue after more than 4,000 cases with 10 deaths at this writing.

    Gordon said the PRC has fully mobilized its Cavite chapter to augment medical facilities in the province.

    Aside from moving enough blood supply and testing facilities there, the red Cross is setting up a 100-bed tent with IV fluids and blood supplies at the General Emilio Aguinaldo Hospital grounds.

    “We can set up a full service emergency hospital in the field should, if God forbid, the situation warrants it,” Gordon said.

    At the same time, according to him, the PRC has mobilized its network of volunteer workers nationwide to aid barangay (village) and local health officials in the education campaign and clean-up effort to check the incidence of dengue cases.

    Gordon said residents should help fight the disease by searching for and destroying possible breeding sites of mosquitoes carrying dengue like drums and pails used to store water as well as stagnant water in creeks, pools and even abandoned tires.

    The Department of Health (DOH) has reported a 16-percent rise to 78,808 dengue cases from January to September 5 over the same period last year.

    The number of deaths from dengue at 233 was lower than the 297 dead last year.

    The Philippines is one of four countries in the Western Pacific that reported the highest dengue incidence in recent years.


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